Nearly a year after triple bomb blasts shook the city killing 27 people and wounding many others, Maharashtra ATS on Friday filed 4700-page chargesheet in a special court against 10 members of Indian Mujahideen, including its top operative Riyaz Bhatkal who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
Of the 10 members of the home terror group, six are absconding while four have been arrested. Those facing trial are Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik.
The charge sheet was filed by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam against the 10 under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), IPC, Explosives Act, Explosives Substances Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act and Unlawful Prevention of Activities Act.
"Among the wanted accused are Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Waqas Ibrahim Sad, Danish alias Tarbez, Dubai based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh," said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.
In an another development, ATS claimed to have arrested one more accused in the 13/7 blast case, Mohammed Qafeel Ansari (55), who was already in the custody of Delhi Police in a terror-related case.
Ansari, hailing from Darbanga in Bihar, was arrested in Mumbai blasts case on May 19, taking the total number of arrests to five, Maria said, adding his transit remand was sought and a supplementary charge sheet would be filed soon.
Ansari was involved in criminal conspiracy and also provided logistical support in executing the crime, ATS officials said.
"Riyaz, who is suspected to be in Pakistan now, was in coordination with absconding Yasin, who looks after the IM's operations in India, had conspired and executed the blasts at business hubs with an intention to destroy economic structure (of the city)," Maria said.
The charge sheet running into 4,788 pages clubbed all the three blasts and contained forensic reports including DNA samples of Naquee that matched with the samples traced from the house the accused had rented during his stay in Mumbai, Maria said.
"There are 641 witnesses, including 19 eyewitnesses, in the case. Nadeem's confessional statement was also filed," Maria said, adding that "the accused were identified during the identification parade by the witnesses."
Following the blasts, four special teams of the ATS sifted through 308 hours of CCTV footages collected from 170 cameras in and around the three blasts sites, days after the attacks.
"Each team consisting of eight teams sifted through this painstaking 308 hours footage round the clock for 29 days when we managed to get a fair idea as to who planted the bombs," Maria said.
The recruitment of perpetrators to engineer the attacks probably started in 2010, Maria said.
According to the ATS, Bhatkal, Waqas and Tarbez had rented a third floor flat at Byculla's Habib building where they allegedly assembled explosives before triggering blasts at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House on July 13, 2011, evening leaving 27 dead and 127 injured.
Forensic experts, who had collected samples from the terror sites, were of the opinion that ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel oil was used in the explosives while digital timers were used to execute the blasts.
As the probe progressed, ATS officials had stumbled upon the Byculla flat in Central Mumbai where the suspects had hidden and assembled explosives. Forensic experts subsequently collected various articles including a computer and clothes of the inmates of the Byculla room for examination.
The forensic report stated that traces of RDX were found in the house but the explosive was not used to trigger the blasts.
ATS said in the charge sheet that in December 2011, during investigation, officials learnt that certain youths from Darbhanga were frequently visiting Madanpura, Nagpada and Byculla areas of Mumbai and using SIM cards and mobile phones obtained through fraudulent documents.
The charge sheet said their activities were reported to be highly suspicious after which a case was registered by the ATS.
During interrogation, Abdul Wahab, arrested in a SIM card case by ATS, disclosed that the wanted accused, Yasin Bhatkal, had been interacting with 10 to 12 Muslim boys from Darbhanga and adjoining areas and indoctrinating them with inflammatory and provocative speeches under the pretext of 'darz' (religious discourse) at Saifiya madrassa in Darbhanga.